WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – A closely contested game for all but the final minutes went against the Susquehanna men’s basketball team, as the Crusaders fell 73-63 to Wilkes on the opening day of the Monarch Classic, hosted by King’s College.
Freshman Spencer Ortmyer (York, Pa./Central York) picked up a double-double with a game-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Classmate Brandon Hedley (Silver Spring, Md./Salisbury Prep.) chipped in 18 points, four assists and two steals while all nine of J.T. Wilson’s (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) nine points came from three-point range.
Shooting was not the issue for the Crusaders (2-6) as they shot nearly 49 percent from the floor, better than 57 percent from beyond the arc and sank 75 percent of their free throws.
The Colonels shot nearly equal percentages but made double the amount of free throws as SU. SU finished the game with 25 turnovers but did have 29 rebounds to Wilkes’ 24.
A 5-2 run to open the half put SU in the lead early and the Crusaders remained ahead by three (12-9) after a Wilson three inside the 14-minute mark.
That lead tripled less than three minutes later after another Wilson three made it 17-11 and an 8-0 run that included threes from Luke Cable (York, Pa./West York) and Wilson made it a 25-14 SU edge with 8:11 left in the half. However, the Colonels put together a 13-5 run that cut the lead to just two (30-28) at the end of the half.
Coming out of halftime, Wilkes (3-5) quickly put up seven unanswered points to lead 35-30 less than two minutes into the half.
Ortmyer’s jumper brought the lead back down to two (40-38) and a Hedley three with 14:35 on the clock put the Crusaders ahead 44-42. Another Hedley three just two minutes later put his squad ahead by four (49-44).
The score stood at 49-48 in favor of Susquehanna just after the midway point of the half until Wilkes regained the lead, 50-49, on a Bernard Edmonds layup with 8:35 to play. The Colonels proceeded to go up by four (53-49) less than a minute later.
With 5:10 left, the Colonels held a seven-point lead, 61-54, and as the clock hit the two-minute mark, the Crusaders found themselves trailing by double digits (71-61) before ultimately falling by 10 (74-63).
SU concludes play at the Monarch Classic tomorrow with a 3 p.m. game against host King’s College.
Crusaders Fall to Wilkes on Opening Day of Monarch Classic